Police splash the cash listening to music

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The county’s top cops gave the ‘okay’ to spending almost £6,000 of taxpayers’ money on licences allowing staff to listen to music in the office over the past year.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal Derbyshire Constabulary paid £5,800 for the privilege.

The Performing Right Society (PRS) collects the fees and pays royalties to composers and their publishers.

Defending the expense, the force has claimed the licensing fees are a necessary evil.

Terry Neaves, director of finance at Derbyshire police, said: “We keep tight control over our payments to the PRS.

“However, some payments are unavoidable – for example, where we need to use music in material to raise awareness of the work of Derbyshire police and promote public safety.”

Altogether, police chiefs in England and Wales paid £660,952 on the licences in the last year.

The Metropolitan Police was the biggest spender, having forked out almost £250,000.

Seventeen police forces spent in excess of £10,000, while four forces paid nothing at all.

The statistics, obtained by Robert Foulds, the clerk of Bramley Parish Council in Rotherham, sent shockwaves through the country.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “This bill should not be borne by the public.

“When police forces across the country have to balance their budgets, this is an easy way for them to save money and focus funds on catching criminals and preventing crime.”